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Wind Power had fun at the Strictly Sail Show in Chicago

Wind Power spent Jan 26 – 29th at the Largest Sailboat show in the Mid-West, Strictly Sail.  For the first time ever, with a booth at this famous yearly show. During the 4 days we were constantly busy with questions about all of our toys.  Other exibitors said we had the FUN BOOTH.  The Wind Power booth had 4 sections: SUP (stand-up-paddle), O’pen Bic youth sailboat, Windsurfing, and Kiting.  Wind Power gave a away a lesson package and a Bic Jungle SUP.

Natalia House a windsurfing student of Wind Power riding the Indo balance board.

Wind Power display with the O'pen Bic youth sailboat (see Poka da Shark)

Wind Power display for Windsurfing

Wind Power display with SUP (Stand-Up-Paddle)

We also took our Winnebago Shark as a mascot and for the kids to play with.  Well on Sunday morning we got a ransom note.  The Kidnappers wanted beer and rum.  The shark got a new name Poka da Shark.  It now has a facebook page with it in the remote sailing pond.  In the kids tent and many of the other vendors booths.  We tried to find and capture the shark back but to no avail.  Finally when we were packing up we got a business card that said the Catch of the day was at Crowley’s ( a booth of a Chicago vendor).  I would like to thanks Dan Thornton who helped load setup and work the booth, Mike Reed and Mark Robinson (Bic Rep) who helped setup and worked the booth a few times, and finally Andy and Ann Gratton who helped in the booth and look for the Shark Sunday.

Team Wind Power: Mike Reed, Kevin, Captain Franken Dread (show's one man band), Dan Thornton

Crowley's Catch of the Day (Poka da Shark) Winnebago Shark



2011 Annual Winnebago SuperCrossing and Wind Power Championship Regatta

Come and Join the Fun in the Sun and Play on the Water!

The Fun Weekend starts on Friday with the Lake Winnebago SuperCrossing run by Jeff Knutson from A-A. EXTERIORS.COM

Friday Morning at 11:00 sharp the crossing starts from Roosevelt County Park (Wind Power) to a destination determined that morning.  Wind direction, strength and the forecast as well as sailors input results in the course for the Crossing.

West wind is the best for a full Crossing the length of Winnebago (28 miles).  Years past we had perfect conditions and a number of us made it to High Cliff State Park.  Niles Book (The Crazy Iron man who crossed Lake Michigan solo with NO CHASE BOAT) was the only one to sail back.  I only know 2 others whom have sailed the length of the Lake and back.  Bet you can’t guess who!

Last year was again perfect conditions with the wind blowing in the 30’s and more further out on the Lake.  Everybody rigged TOO BIG and what a disappointment that not one Windsurfer made it.  I was disappointed with myself because I also under estimated the wind and after sailing a few miles of the 28 miles to High Cliff, I turned around because I knew from experience it wasn’t going to get any easier up the lake.  It would have been miles of ugly survival sailing, not fun.  5 local Kiters made the grueling journey to High Cliff.  Hopefully this year mother nature will gives another chance.

Saturday and Sunday is the 26th Annual Wind Power Championships! Mark Greinert and myself hosted our first Regatta ever, not really thinking it would still be going on almost 3 decades later.  Big Lake Winnebago and the access of Roosevelt County Park just across the street from Wind Power is an excellent venue to run BIG Regattas.  Last year 53 racers enjoyed great times on Windy Winnebago.  Everyone was sore and tired after 10 races.

This Year we are excited to add 2 more Fleets, Kona and O’Pen Bic.  For 2011 MoWind has dropped the Formula Fleet (because of lack of attendance) and added the new and growing Kona Fleet. For more information on the Kona Racing check out their web site: KonaOne.com Contact Mike Fox if you would like to charter a Kona for the weekend.  He will be bringing boards from the Minneapolis area and would appreciate a call before he leaves for Fond du Lac.  Call Mike @ 612-508-8083

The O’Pen Bic is a new Youth sailboat by Bic.   www.O’Pen Bic.com Fleets are quickly growing in the Fox Valley area and all across the country.  Wind Power has been supporting the O’Pen Bic movement and teaching many kids for 3 years. (this year over 350 kids learned how to sail with the O’Pen Bic)  With all the kids sailing and racing a new youth sailboat, that is fun to capsize and do Freestyle on (Bailing is Cancelled), Wind Power felt it was appropriate to add their Fleet to our End of the Year Regatta.  SO please welcome the kids who have learned to love our great sport of sailing.

Let’s Keep the Wind Power Championships on the MoWind Calendar! After organizing Regattas for 26 years with the help of Family and Many Friends, I have decided all I want to do is be the PRO or Principle Race Officer.  This entails getting the necessary equipment ready to run a Windsurfing race.  Working with the Race Committee setting up the Schedule, Fleets and Classes, Courses and finally the Rules for the Event.  I have all the necessary equipment to run a world class regatta but no longer have the desire to organize the whole event.  Such as Promotions, planning the dinner, writing the notice of race and press releases, getting prizes and trophies, selecting a t-shirt and design.  I have struggled through those task and many many times with the excellent help of others, But I no longer want to be the one in charge of doing them.  I am retiring from those duties after this years event.  I am hoping that a team will take over those duties and have fun doing it, so the Event will continue.  Or someone else might want to start their own new Event on this weekend.  I am sad to think this may be the end of a great Era, but I don’t have the energies needed to organize a whole event and still make it fun for me.  It’s time for new blood.

Check out the Wind Power Weather Center! If you haven’t been on the Wind Power Weather Center, it’s a must see.  Version 2.0 will be installed this week. The new version 2.0 of the weather Center tracks history better and provides more in depth Wind Sock data.  The Wind Sock rating has been tweaked to be more accurate to marginal conditions. The Wind Sock summary is awesome telling us how many days we had in a month or a year of the various wind socks.  There is much more , so go to the new Weather Center and check out the Updates & Issues.  We are constantly striving to make the weather Center more user friendly while providing the information and history everyone is looking for.  We installed a new Wind Sensor (the Pro model) and the wind data we are collecting is more accurate to the real conditions.  Use the wind history to your advantage.  After a good day sailing or kiting at one of the launches, look up the wind history for the day.  Take notes of the size sail or kite for the wind strength at the time you were out.  Use this valuable information in the future to know what size sail or kite you should ride.  The Weather Center is dedicated after Stella Blue, the  developer’s beloved yellow Lab. Stella loved the water and riding windsurf boards as much as we do.  She was an Icon on the beach.
Click here to check out the Wind Power Weather Center.

Looking forward to seeing, Sailing and just hanging out with everyone soon!

Kevin     USA 8

Click on the picture below to open the

2011 Winnebago SuperCrossing and Wind Power Championship Notice of Race (NOR)

2011 Winnebago SuperCrossing & Wind Power Championship NOR

2011 Winnebago SuperCrossing & Wind Power Championship NOR

Wind Power has a New Weather Center!

The Wind Power web site has a New Weather Center! 

On Monday June 20 the New Weather Center was added to the Wind Power Web site. The Site has it’s own URL at WindPowerWeather.com .  A Weather Center link is available on Wind Power home page and under Information pull-down menu.

As you can see in the picture above the Wind Sensor is mounted much higher than in the past.  It will give a more realistic reading in more directions due to the added height.  My brother Andy donated an A-Scow mast which we put on top of the shop.  The Wind Sensor is on top of it which should put it at 60 plus feet.  This is around the height of the neighboring trees.

But that is not all that the Weather Center is about.  It has a very detailed graphs of the wind speed with gusts,  direction and speed, temperature and wind chill.  There is also a tabular data.  Forecast are available from several popular weather links.  Water Temperature is also available.  There are graphs with a detailed history of the past weather. Personally I like to see the peak gusts.

A local advisory tells you what launches are good for the current conditions as well as the type of equipment to use.  Don’t forget to add the Wind Power Weather Gadget to your desktop.  It will keep you up-to-date with the wind conditions on Lake Winnebago’s south end. WindPowerWeather.com/gadget

The Weather Center is dedicated to Stellablue, a longtime companion of the developer of this site. Stellablue was a yellow Labrador retriever and learned to windsurf as a puppy and loved cruising on the long-board. As you can see in the photo, she was ready to go, but was not much help up-hauling the sail. The Weather Center is dedicated to her memory.

The Weather Center was many hours in development and deciphering data find what would work best for Wind Power. Some of the unique features are the recommended Launch Sites and desktop gadget (for Windows). The Weather Center not only provides weather data, but provides a lot of explanations and educational information. Check out the Information and Sensor pages for example.

We are excited to bring this new service and it’s features to you.  Feel free to blog back or contact us with any comments and suggestions.  Enjoy the weather Center and make the most of it to increase you fun in the WIND on Lake Winnebago.

Kevin   USA 8

Summer 2011 is just around the Corner

Have you blown the dust off you soft water sailing equipment?  Well it’s time.  Lake Winnebago opened on April 7th, as far as we could see to the north from Wind Power .  The water temps are in the upper 50’s already.  A few more warm days and you can put the drysuits away.

Spring is a great time for those with experience to get out and enjoy some high wind action.  Be sure to check all you cold weather gear so it’s going to protect you as designed.  Don’t forget to also check over your equipment; u-joint, lines, all screws.  Breakdowns can quickly become a much bigger problem with colder water temps.

Wind Power enjoyed it’s annual spring trip to Hatteras. A great group of 14 enjoyed warm temps in the 70’s and lots of wind.  I windsurfed overpowered on my 4.2 and kited with an 8m.  Christy, Pat and Greg, new kiters, worked on getting rides on soft water and Debbie learned how to Windsurf.

Wind Power’s Online Store has been busy this spring and new items are being added daily.   Check it out at https://www.windpowerwindsurfing.com/shop/ The Mid-West largest used inventory and replacement parts will soon be showcased in the online store!   The road construction on Winnebago Drive (in front of the shop) is completed and it’s a big improvement to the area.  Come and enjoy a sail out of Roosevelt County Park.

School will be out Soon! Wind Power is currently taking registration for the Kid’s Classes on wed.  Starting Wednesday June 15th there will be a morning kids class from 10:00 to noon and an afternoon class from 1:00 to 3:00.  Last year the classes were full.  We will add a Thursday program if there is enough demand.     Call Kevin at Wind Power or see the web site for more information: https://www.windpowerwindsurfing.com/lessons/windsurf#kids

Are we having FUN yet?

Wednesday night will be the Advanced Windsurf classes.  This program covers all levels, from those who have just learned to the aspiring racer.  If you are nervous and not real comfortable out in the water, this is the class for you.  Kevin will get you relaxed and having fun while learning how to windsurf better.  Class curriculum is adjusted to the students level and the wind conditions of the day.

Beginner Windsurf Lessons are available anytime just call ahead to set a lesson time.  Wind Power prides itself on having the best lesson equipment available.  We want you learning experience to be easy , fun and fast! Roosevelt County Park has a nice shallow sandy area where the beginner lessons take place, it’s an ideal location.  See our web site for more information: https://www.windpowerwindsurfing.com/lessons

Kiting Lessons are available, Wind Power supplies the equipment if you don’t have it.  A large Pontoon boat is the launch site and a Jet-ski is the chase vehicle.  Contact Wind Power for more information and to setup a time.

Stand Up Paddling (SUP) Lessons and equipment are also available.  If the wind dies stop over to the shop and pick up a paddle.  Paddling along the shore checking out the houses is interesting, you can paddle back in the channel behind Wind Power or cruise up to the Light House and even go in Supply’s marsh.

Jay and Dr. D

Increase your Summer Fun with Wind Power!

The Walleye Wagatta is this Weekend

The Annual Walleye Wagatta is this weekend May 14th and 15th.  This is the first spring regatta of the 2011 MoWind racing season.  See the MoWind website for information on the upcoming Regattas.  www.mowind.org Arden Anderson is the Principle Race Officer, PRO.  With the help of his family he will run the regatta out of Wind Power and Roosevelt County Park.  Wind Power supplies the boats and buoys along with free camping in their spacious back yard.  After dark on Saturday the bonfire will be lite and tales will be told, there might even be a game of Bite the Bag.  Remember a Regatta is a Party!  Don’t let the weather dictate whether you participate or not.  Party first, sailing is a bonus.

There will be a Workshop Fleet for beginner and less experienced racers.  Arden and other racers will assist those in the Workshop fleet so they understand the course and feel comfortable sailing with others.  The Workshop Fleet race course is shorter and will be easy for them to get around.  MOWind goal is to promote Windsurfing in the Mid-West and Racing is one of the best ways to learn and improveEvery race is a lesson and your sailing with some of the best in the Mid-West.

The Sport Fleet is for graduates of the Workshop Fleet, but who choose start with the A-Fleet, but not to sail the longer course of the A-Fleet.  There will be the new KONA One-Design Fleet along with the new 9.5 Raceboard Class.  Racing will consist of Course Slalom, and Long Distance racing, weather permitting.

Again this year Ted Schweitzer will be coming to the Walleye Wagatta and he is bringing a trailer with Original Windsurfers for racers and others to test drive.  If you want to reserve an Original Windsurfer or learn more about them got to Ted’s web site: http://www.originalwindsurfer.com/site/index.html In the 70’s and early 80’s the Original Windsurfer had One-Design regattas all over the World with attendance up to 450 racers.  It’s a great board for lightwind sailing and for freestyle.  The Rig is very light and the board manuvers really fast.  Come and meet Ted (his father is the co-inventor of Windsurfing) and try an Original Windsurfer.

Ted on the Original Windsurfer

Why would I attend a Regatta or an Event?

I can think of many reasons to attend a Regatta,  a Windsurfing, Kiting, or sailing event.

No.1 It’s a party! A get-together with friends that enjoy the same sports you do. Everyone likes to have others around them to kite, windsurf or sail with when they are enjoying their sport. You have to admit it’s more fun when there are others to watch and hoot, holler and encourage when doing your sport. Most people find the  social aspect of the sport a big part of the sport and a boost to the fun factor. You meet new friends that enjoy the same thrills you do.  At work your fellow workers are probably sick of listening to you babble about how much fun you had in the wind. Why, they hate the wind, for it makes their sports harder or impossible. They don’t understand your psych, nor do they want to. When you get to the beach it’s a whole different story. Everyone wants to hear you story and share theirs.  So go and party with those who enjoy those who enjoy your sport.

No. 2 It’s a great way to learn and improve! For those new to the sport, they can hang with those experienced and learn from them. Most of the those I have meet are more than willing to share and HELP those who are learning. Remember all of us were Beginners at one time and we don’t forget those days. We want to help beginners get through the tough times as fast as possible and enjoy the sport at a higher level.  I have personally watch  and experienced everyone who competes improve a much greater rate than those who fine every excuse to not compete.  How many have said they are not competitive but when you see them on the water they are trying to out do others.  Jumping higher, going faster, or doing harder or more tricks.  Those sailors should be honest to themselves and join the FUN.

No.3 It’s Fun Competition! It’s fun to compare yourself to others.  Getting the jitters on the starting line is exciting.  Where else do you get a rush like that?  It’s great fun to be next to your friends pushing eachother to do your best.  You will find you push yourself harder than when you are alone.  I enjoy cheering others on and hooting it up.  It will promote you to pay more attention to techniques, equipment setup and tuning, tactics and weather.

No.4 Help Promote your great sport! Having a Competition bring a bigger group than normal and showcases our sport. It entices and creates interest in those who watch to join the fun.  How can one not help wanting to participate in a sport where everyone is having so much fun.We all want to share our enjoyment of our great sport and help it grow.  So we have more friends to Party with!

No.5 Don’t be a Party Pooper! If you enjoy Competitions and would like to see more of them as well as see the existing ones grow to higher levels, you must attend.  Not attending an event because of lack of wind is the most common excuse.  Forecast are often wrong, weather always changes.  Wind can come out of no-where.

That mentality is the quickest and sure way to kill a Competition or Event.  Think of the big picture of the makings of an Event.  You must have a race organizer, support personnel and sponsorship of some kind.  A lot of behind the scene work goes on.  Not attending because the forecast does not look good puts all their work in vain.  The sponsors do not see a return for their investment, therefore they pull out.  Soon the event is history.

So remember instead of  contacting your friends and telling them you are not going to make the Event because of  a poor forecast.  Contact all you’re friends and tell them to come and join you at the Party!

Wind Power & ‘Back in Action Rehab’ Windsurf Clinic and Picnic

Background Info:Kevin Gratton, owner & lead instructor of Wind Power Windsurfing & Kiting Center, had shoulder replacement (right) in December of 2009.  For years Kevin had shoulder problems that kept him off the water and with significant physical limitation and pain.  After the surgery, during Kevin’s therapy he teamed up with the ‘Back in Action Rehabilitation Center’.  Kevin is back on the water and windsurfing again.  Kevin had offered the ‘back-in-action’ team to a one day Windsurf Clinic and it was help on Sunday September 12, 2010 at Roosevelt County Park in Fond du Lac (across from Wind Power).  Following is a summary of the clinic/picnic and back-in-action comments. You can find more info and a link to ‘Back in Action Rehab’ below.

Those of you who missed the Windsurfing Picnic, you should put it on the top of their to-do list for next year.  It was such a success we are going to do it again.  Windsurfing, Sailing and Fun on the Beach: Back-in-Action by Popular Demand!

Back-in Action therapist John, Jennifer, Erik, Mike and assistant therapist Lynn along with Hailey (John’s daughter and Lexis, Mike’s girl friend) spent the afternoon learning how to enjoy the water and wind with a surfboard and sail.  Kevin Gratton, a past and future product of Back-in-Action’s therapy, put on an afternoon of fun for those who helped him so graciously return to Windsurfing after his shoulder replacement.  Kevin was so happy with the his many hours spent at Back-in Action doing therapy he felt it was the least he could do to introduce the sport of Windsurfing to everyone at Back-in Action.

Kevin is looking forward to the second annual Wind Power/Back-in–Action Watersports picnic this coming spring.  Kevin feels confident some of this years participants can help me teach the ones that were not fortunate to make it this year.  He also thinks they can probably incorporate some of the techniques they learned into their everyday therapy, LOL

Everyone had a great time with many laughs.  The water was refreshing with the 80 degree temps.  Images of the event can be seen in the windsurf gallery or click the image below.

2010 Wind Power & 'Back in Action' Clinic/Picnic

We don’t have pictures of Mike because he is a diehard Packer fan.  Hailey gets the award for the most effort, she was always going somewhere, she sailed till she was exhausted. John went out the farthest, Jennifer stayed warm in her wetsuit.  She didn’t really need it as she was never in the water.  Lynn was playing Helga and getting in everyone’s way.  Erik did well with his red-eye handicap.  A few dips in the lake help clear the cobwebs.

After sailing the group enjoyed brats and hot dogs from John’s grill, and a few well deserved beverages.

Kevin had a great time and is looking forward to next year’s party as well as more time doing Therapy with the great gang at Back-in-Action. Next year Kevin plans to include Kids Sailing and Stand Up paddling…

Comments from the ‘Back-in-Action’ Clinic/Picnic participants

“Awesome Stuff!!   Lot’s of Fun….”    John
“Keep up the good  work…You do a great job at instructing, very comfortable and supportive. ”    Jennifer
“I had a blast, getting to see John in a bathing suit was added bonus…
….See ya next year”